"Palau_2008030818_4709" by LuxTonnerre via Flickr Creative Commons

While the islands of the Pacific are rather small spits of land spread out across thousands of miles, many are ecological wonders. Isolation has lead to species evolving under their own command. Australia and New Zealand are two of the top ecotourism destinations in the world and home to many excellent national parks as well as endemic animals. Nearby Papua New Guinea is blossoming into a premier eco tourist destination as well.

  1. Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage, Australia This tract of lush land in the south of Tasmania includes Southwest, Franklin0-Gordon Wild Rivers, and Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair national parks. Forest, scrub, moorland, rainforests, and dramatic coastal scenery home to Tasmanian devils, quolls, parrots, salamanders, and many other rare and endemic species.
  2. Wasur Nature Reserve, Papua New Guinea This park sits on the southern coast of Irian Jaya where a number of marsupials and a large selection of the world’s birds of paradise can be found.
  3. Tongarira National Park, New Zealand Two active volcanoes, grasslands, and herb-fields attract a rich array of flora and fauna to one of the world’s oldest national parks.
  4. Palau Apart from the island nation’s brilliant marine life, it boasts waterfalls, jellyfish filled lakes, caves, and sparkling white sands.
  5. Mount Aspiring National Park, New Zealand The country’s second largest park spans more than 355,000 hectares filled with alpine forests, mountains, glaciers and valleys.
  6. Kakandu National Park, Australia Aboriginees and traces of pre-historic peoples are found in this park near Darwin. Wallabies, dingos, quolls, bandicoots, and a wide variety of bird and reptile life can be spotted here.
  7. Samoa More than 300 volcanoes, 6,562 foot mountains, rainforests, mangrove forests, and vibrant marine life make tiny Samoa one of the world’s most diverse collections of ecosystems.
  8. Loch Luna Game Reserve, Australia This 1,900 hectare reserve is comprised of creeks and swamps that attract Regent parrots, white faced herons, spoonbills and kangaroos.
  9. Byron Bay, Australia Northeast Australia’s Byron Bay is an emerging ecotourist’s dream with fabulous resorts and koalas, kangaroos, fox, crocodiles, kookaburras, and whales.
  10. Turtle Islands This little known archipeligo near the Phillipiines is one of the worlds last nesting sites for the green turtle and is home to numerous other species of rare flora and fauna.

Click here for an Introduction to Ecotourism Vacations